Monday, June 29, 2009

Random Packs Of Kindness Vintage Edition

Here is the Vintage Edition of the RPOK review. For the purposes of this post "vintage" will be defined strictly as cards from the 1985 set or older, even though 1985 cards aren't vintage (unless you are selling them for way too much money on Craigslist). It is amazing that vintage is being defined in this way for this post because, as luck would have it, one of the cards is from the 1985 Topps set. It's funny how things turn out sometimes.

Len Barker - 1982 Fleer

Len Barker is the otherwise ordinary pitcher who on May 15, 1981, pitched a perfect game. This is the greatest thing that happened to the Indians since 10 cent beer night. Even though attendance was a little over 7,000 that night, just about everyone in Cleveland was there.

Hassey and Barker - 1983 Fleer - Last Perfect Game

See, I told you he pitched a perfect game. And, that other guy caught it. He even has a sweet beard. I'm not making it up, the Indians had a few good things happen to them in the 80's.

Judging by the background here, this picture was probably taken during the 3rd inning of a game in progress.

Joe Charboneau - 1982 Topps

Super Joe Charboneau. Another one of those good things to happen to Cleveland in the 80's, even if it wasn't a good thing anymore by the time this card was made. I love this card for the photo of Joe. He just looks like a ballplayer there. I guess that isn't really much of a revelation know...Joe was a ballplayer. But, you guys know what I mean.

Bert Blyleven - 1985 Topps

Here is the newest vintage card for the purposes of this post. Way back in 1985. That makes this card VERY rare indeed. People forget that Bert pitched part of his (should be) HOF career. in Cleveland. Maybe if more people thought about this maybe he would be forgiven for falling 13 wins short of 300 (as if wins mean much anyway). You don't think Bert would have gotten there if he didn't spend 4 1/2 seasons playing for Dave Garcia, Mike Ferraro, and Pat Corrales?

Ridiculous that he isn't in the hall. Especially when you consider his beard.

Wayne Garland - 1982 Fleer

This card is interesting because...I like this card and um....The back of the card has a...Wayne Garland once...uhh...

I just like this card OK? Get off my back.

Rick Waits - 1981 Donruss

You want to know why this card is awesome, besides the fabulous lighting? Rick Waits made his home in Willoughby Ohio. You want to know what other famous personage is from Willoughby (besides Tom Anderson)? That's right. None other than Motherscratcher.

Larvell Blanks - 1979 Topps

This card reminds me of the greatest blog post ever made. I love the red uniforms. When they have one of those throwback uni nights how come they never pull out this monstrosity? I would absolutely love to see a game against the old A's yellow unis. People might go blind.

1982 Fleer - 1981 All Star Game
can you believe that they had an all star game at that stadium? And, not too long after the Cuyahoga caught fire. it's unbelievable to me. How many players do you think faked injuries that year to get out of the game?

I love the card, though. Municipal Stadium getting it's own card. Nice

Sid Monge - 1979 Topps

My favorite thing about Sid Monge, by far, is that his name is Sid Monge. Sid is vastly underused as it is. When you team Sid up with Monge, well, I'm sure you'll agree that it's glorious. Just magical.

And look at Sid. the excitement just radiates off of him. He's looking very dapper in his collared shirt underneath his uniform. I get the feeling that he's just praying that the other kids at home in Mexico don't ever see this card of him in the Indians jersey. He'll never live it down.

Johnny Romano - 1961 Topps

My first ever 1961 card. I have only a hand full of cards older than this one. I was very excited to see it and learn a few things about a Triber who I've never heard of.

Turns out that Johnny was an All Star the year of this card He hit 91 HRs for the Tribe in the 5 seasons that he spent with them. His home is Hoboken, his nickname is Honey, and (according to the back of the card) he spends his spare time constructing things out of wood.

Can you believe it? That's what it says. I guess they figured there was no need to be more specific than that. Just things out of wood.

That's the best thing about old cards on these blogs. Before this I probably would have glanced right past this card and not taken the time to learn something about Johnny. And, Johnny deserves that I know something about him. Don't you think so?

Charlie Spikes - 1977 Topps

Fantastic card. I'll never get tired of those red uniforms. And how great are Leslie's burns (his name is Leslie Charlie Spikes). Looking for something nice to write about Leslie, Topps came up with this tidbit on the back of the card: "Voted as Tribe's Most Outstanding Player in 1973 Training Camp by news media."

Can you get a load of that? Most outstanding in training camp? Can you believe that there is such a thing? That is too fantastic.

Congrats Chuck. Now you can sit your grand kids on your knee and tell them about the 1973 training camp. Just hope they don't ask you what you hit during the real season (.237).

To be fair to Charlie, he did hit 23 hr that season. Not too shabby. Not shabby at all.

John Lowenstein - 1977 Topps

Could there possibly be a better card to end on that Lowenstien's? Is this a great card or what. At the time of this card, John had spent his entire career, starting in 1970, with the Tribe. The tidbit that Topps came up with was: "A speedy baserunner, John has career total of 69 Stolen Bases for the Tribe."

Don't worry, I've done the math for you. John stole an average of just under 10 bases a season.

Blazing speed. I can just imagine that glorious hair billowing out behind Speedy John as he stretched a double into a triple. You know, one of the 8 triples this burner hit to this point in his career.

Thank you again David. I love getting your free cards. And, now I can sign up for another team!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Random Packs Of Kindness From Tribecards

Here's a long overdue post as I forego the Indians game so I can watch the US v Brazil soccer game. Like a typical American I watch a limited amount of soccer, about every 4 years. I used to play a lot of soccer and was actually quite good. That was back when I could run more than 50 yards without having a heart attack.

But apparently this would be a pretty big deal if we won. I've heard that Brazil has a decent team (JK). So I'm watching...


No Kidding! We just scored as I'm typing this. How about that! Good times.

However, since I have no soccer cards to talk about, I'll stick with what I do know (allegedly). Baseball cards. Or, specifically, free baseball cards from David.

This is my random pack of kindness Indians cards. David, as is so typical for him, has started giving out 10 packages of every freakin' team to whoever asks. I barely got in on the Indians. I've decided to not sign up for any more teams until I get my thank you posts up for this one. So I have to get this up quick so I can sign up for more stuff.

David rules. Here's part 1 of 2 posts detailing what I got:

Roberto Alomar 2002 Stars of 89 Game Used Jersey

Right off the bat I get a jersey card of Robby Alomar. Awesome. You can save your Tinkers to Evers to Chance. I'll take Vizquel to Alomar to Sorrento. Best DP combo that a lot of us have ever seen.

I don't know what set this is from, but Upper Deck was kind of lazy on this one. Here's Alomar, best remembered as an Oriole, in a Tribe uniform, on a card commemorating 1989 when he was apparently a Met (I have no recollection of Alomar on the Mets). Would it have been too difficult to actually get a picture of him in a Mets uni if that's what the card is? Just lazy.

Works out for me, though. If UD wasn't so lazy, I don't get a Game Used card of Alomar in my pack.

1992 Upper Deck Robby and Sandy Alomar - Bloodlines

I think that this is the only card I have with both Alomar brothers on it. I also have no recollection of Roberto on the Blue Jays. Jeez, I thought I was a baseball fan. This is getting depressing.

*There's some kind of buzzing sound coming from the stadium where the soccer game is being played. It sounds like it's made by some kind of kazoo on steroids and it's more annoying than the Tomahawk chop. I heard it at the begining and figured that it would stop once the game got under way. Soccer fans are weird. Can't they just do the wave or something?

1991 Score Sandy Alomar Jr - Rifleman

Look at score go, man. Cool looking card. This was probably absolutely astounding back in...



OK, where was I. Oh yeah, 1991 Score. From the back: "Believe it or not, some scouts rated Sandy's arm and all-round catcher's tool better than those of Benny Santiago."

I write that because I think most people forget just how good Benito used to be. Alomar too, for that matter. Except in Cleveland, where we love us some Sandy Alomar Jr.

Paul Sorrento - 1992 Leaf Studio

I LOVE Leaf Studio. They wrote the most ridiculous things on these cards. What do we have for Paul:

"Favorite singer is Robert Plant; actress is Kim Bassinger; movie is Goodfellas; book is Misery; talk show host is David Letterman."

Damn. That's pretty impressive. I would hope that my choices hold up so well after 17 years. I mean, I'm pretty sure Alex cole picked House Party 2 or something.

Well done, Paul.

Candy Maldonado - 1991 Fleer

Card Companys don't have enough balls anymore to put out a whole flagship set on bright yellow cardboard. I think that's why I like this set so much. It took guts. If I ever find out who was the guy who made that call I will nickname him Private Joker.

Why do I remember Candy as a power hitter? I'm looking at his stats on this card. He was not. He should have spent more time with Canseco.

* This Kaka guy makes me nervous. If you name your Brazillian kid Kaka you are pretty much assuring yourself that he will be a fantastic soccer player. It's a lot like if you name your newborn daughter Nikki. Yeah, you pretty much just pre-ordered her stripper heals and cocaine habit...estimated delivery date, 19 years.

Jose Mesa - 1996 Fleer

Turning Red....must look away....I will not cuss on this post....

Eric Plunk - 1994 Fleer Ultra

Love Fleer Ultra. I love Eric Plunk too. We could use him in the bullpen this year. It never mattered to be that he is the ugliest Indian in history not named Otis Nixon.

Or Julian Tavarez.

Actually, when you think of those guys, Plunk is quite handsome.

Kevin Seitzer 1997 Pinnacle

Pinnacle cards were great. I like this because it has a great shot of one of those ridiculous helmet flap extenders. What the heck were those about? Were there a lot of people getting hit in the chin? I could see if Jay Leno or Soda Popinski was stepping into the box. Those guys would need to take precautions. But Kevin Seitzer. His chin looks normal me, anyway.

Alex Cole - 1992 Donruss

Here's Mr. House Party 2. We got Alex from the Padres for Tom Lampkin. I'd do that again. Alex walked more than he struck out and stole a lot of bases. We would remember him more fondly in Cleveland if he wasn't immediately followed by Kenny Lofton.

He's probably the best player in Cleveland history to where giant goggles and 2 ear flaps. He will definately be a future member of the 2 Flap Syndicate.

Carlos Bearga - 1995 Sportflix

The back says "Always chattering and aleays hustling, Carlos is the heart and soul of the Indians". I'd have to agree with that. He was always a charismatic fan favorite. Cleveand was pissed when John Hart traded him. Hart turned out to be right, of course. Baerga crashed and burned soon after that. We of course got future Hall of Famer Jeff Kent. (I won't mention the fact that we immediatley traded Kent because we liked Jose Vizcaino a lot better).

Gaylord Perry - 1991 Sportflics Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

Another Sportflics card (before they became Sportflix, which is way more hip). Everyone remembers Gaylord. He has a shot at the Hall of Fame when he retires in a few years.

Ben Broussard - 2003 Topps

I liked Ben. I really did. I was always pulling for him. He always seemed more like a AAAA player to me, though. The best thing that he ever did for the Tribe was turn into Shin Soo Choo.

Reggie Jefferson - 1991 Upper Deck


Brazil scored. 2-1 Good Guys

Reggie had some good years. Much like Broussard, Reggie made his biggest contibution for the Tribe when he morphed with Felix Fermin and turned into Omar Vizquel. Man, John Hart really made some fantastic trades. That deserves it's own post.

WHOA!!!!!!!! WHAT A SAVE. Still leading by 1.

Youthful Tribe - 1993 Upper Deck

I've never seem this card before...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! SON OF A.... 2-2. Dang.

This card has Belle, Alomar, Thome, Baerga, and Lofton. This is even before Ramirez arrived. How in the world did we not win a Series?

Kenny Lofton 1992 Pinnacle Sidelines

I'm not sure how many people know just how great an athlete Lofton was. He was a starting point guard at Arizona and could have probably played in the NBA. This is an awsome card.

Thanks David. More cardboard goodness to come.

Dang Brazil 3-2. Only a few minutes left. And we just blew a great chance. What a bunch of Kaka.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bad Wax Bonus

As part of the Bad Wax box busters deal, Mike sent everyone a surprise pack of cards to go along with the main packs. My extra pack was another pack of 2002 Vintage, which is great because I like them a lot. What can I say, I like black borders.

First I got an extra surprise; this Giant 2000 Bowman Chrome Alfanso Soriano. It's bigger than a regular card and I can't remember what it's called (and I'm too lazy to look it up right now). I'd forgotten that Alfi was a Yankee. The card is sweet. Shiny as hell. I got this because a few weeks back I won a contest. It was very difficult. Basically, if memory serves, I was the first person to comment on the post so I got the card. So yeah...I EARNED IT!

Here is bonus pack 2002 UD Vintage:

Mark Buehrle
Bret Boone
Tim Salmon
Reggie Sanders
Donnie Bridges/Henry Mateo
Dernell Stenson/Juan Diaz
Postseason Scrapbook Randy Johnson
Rockies Team Checklist
Trot Nixon
Jason Kendell

Not too bad of a pack. It would have been a lot better back in 2002 with Johnson, Salmon, and Boone. And another Dernell Stenson. That makes 2 in the Bad Wax packs. I'd never heard of the guy. He was murdered shortly after getting his first taste of the majors. It's very sad and, truthfully, deserves it's own post. I'm glad to have a few of Dernell's cards.

Thanks for the break Mike, and the bonus pack, and especially my hard earned giant shiny Soriano.

Bad Wax Box Busters June Break

As I sit here scanning these cards in I'm drinking a Great Lakes Commodore Perry India Pale Ale. Grady Sizemore is off the DL and back in center field. The Tribe snapped a losing streak that treatened my very sanity. My wife is upstairs asleep and since I'm off tomorrow morning she won't have to get up tonight at all. I'm playing with my baseball cards and I'm listening to my son Grady snore his little baby snores through the monitor. Life might get better than this at some point...but I don't see how.

*Shysterball (I think) said something about hearing his kid through the monitor a few days ago. I don't know if I'd appreciate this seemingly insignificant moment in my life without thanks dude.

OK now on to the important stuff...the cards. 4 packs from Bad Wax.

2002 Upper Deck Vintage

#64 Ruben Sierra
#99 David Ortiz
#76 Carl Everett
#244 Brian Giles
#242 Nick Punto/Carlos Silva
#209 Brad Penny
#289 Postseason Scrapbook Derek Jeter
#18 A's Team Checklist
#DP1 Day At The Park - Ichiro
#25 Shannon Stewert

Analysis: Overall not too bad. I have a feeling that I could have done better on the rookie card than Punto and Silva. But I did get a Carl Everett, and that means I get to think about how he believes that Dinosaurs sisn't exist and scientists made their bones in a lab. Good Times. I'm always happy to pull an Ichiro card too.

2002 SPX

#41 Mike Mussina
#15 Freddy Garcia
#90 Todd Helton
#64 Hideo Nomo

Analysis: Not a bad pack with the Mussina and Helton. I have to respect Mussina for striking out 30 Indians in 2 games...even though the Indians won both. Still impressive.

1999 SP Top Prspects

John Patterson - High Desert Mavericks
Juan Pena - Pawtucket Red Sox
George Lombard - Greenville Braves
Dernell Stenosn - Trenton Thunder
Mike Lincoln - New Britain Rock Cats
Glenn Davis - Vero Beach Dodgers
Ken Griffey Jr Retrospective
Matt Clement Checklist

Analysis: I have mixed feelings here. On the one hand, the cards are very shiny gold and look quite awesome. Really kick ass looking. On the other hand I don't know who any of these people are, and considering it was a decadeago, I probably should't hold out too much hope.

2004 Fleer Platinum

Chipper Jones Big Signs - folded and unfolded
John Olerud
Placido Polanco
Johan Santana
Greg Myers - Unsung Heroes
Sidney Ponson
Mike Cameron

Analysis - This is a really nice pack. I have no idea what the odds on pulling that Chipper Jones travesty they are caling a card, but I do know someone who might liek it and it's going in his pile. Johan Santana is good too.

My favorite here is the John Olerud for a couple of reasons. 1: I like to think about the story (unfortunately not true, but still funny) about Olerud and Henderson. B: I think he looks a little like that guy who plays the bad South African in Lethal Weapon 2.

Overall - Nothing too great here. Just some normal packs of baseball cards. Nothing wrong with that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

2 Flap Syndicate: Chip Hale

Consider Chip Hale, born Walter William Hale in 1964, the newest member of the 2 Flap Syndicate (formerly known as the Council On The Double Ear Flap*). Chip glares at us from his shiny new 1990 Upper Deck card with a mixture of fear and confusion that I have trouble understanding.

Chip was no doubt the best player in his high school, probably in the whole league. He went from there to the University of Arizona where he was part of a national championship team. In 1987 he was drafted by the eventual World Series champion Minnesota Twins. Two years later he had worked his way through the minors and landed on the Twins bench for 28 games in 1989. He sat in that dugout with the likes of Danny Gladden, Kirby Puckett, Gary Gaetti, Kent Hrbek, and the immortal Carmen Castillo. If this wasn't the exact plan, it had to be pretty damn close.

So what is there to be leery of? Let me offer a guess. They wouldn't stop calling him Chip. Chip is the name of the high school star. Chip is the name of the guy that gets a lot of babes on campus. Chip is the name of the teenager that everyone wants to be like. Chip is NOT the name of a major league ballplayer. Chip Chippendale proved that conclusively way back in 1951.

But they wouldn't stop calling him Chip. They even gave him his old 2 flapped high school batting helmet with a Twins sticker on the front in a vain attempt reclaim that old high school magic.

But Walter William knew the score. And, there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. They plastered Chip all over the place. On his locker, on his jersey, and on his baseball cards, he couldn't escape it. Hence the look. Maybe Chip knew better than anyone else how this was going to end up.

Chip hung around for about 7 seasons compiling about 1 full season's worth of replacement level stats.

He emerged a few years later as the manager of the manager of the Missoula Osprey, a minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's worked his way through the minors in much the same way that he did as a player. He managed the Tuscan Sidewinders to the Pacific Coast League Championship in 2006 followed by a promotion to the major league staff. He's the third base coach of the Diamondbacks.

Even though his nickname doomed him as a player, maybe a "Chip" can be a manager. It worked for Sparky. I wouldn't count him out.

Welcome to the Syndicate Chip.

*I decided that I hated "Council On The Double Ear Flap" 2 Flap Syndicate is much better. I doubt I need to elaborate more than that.


For everyone clamoring to see some cards pulled from a pack of Super Mario Galaxy your prayers have finally been answered.

Here is my post on A Pack To Be Named Later.

Yes, this is just a convenient excuse to update my blog.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Breakin' Off 2007 Masterpieces

I always liked Masterpieces. Not as much as Turkey Red, but still really cool looking cards. I never really considered getting a box until I was brainwashed into it when I Am Joe Collector busted what seemed like 8 cases of the stuff. I would go to his site to see box after box of cool parallels and Game Used cards and autos. This set was really nice. So, I got a box.

Here it is:

Box Topper:Ken Griffey Jr.

This is really nice, but I still have no damn idea what the heck I'm supposed to do with these things. For now it's just kicking around and getting in the way, right along with my Johan Santana Cabinet card.

Base Cards:
Roberto Clemente
Ozzie Smith

I wanted to get a few of the base cards that I liked in there. I'll have to check but I think this may be the only Clemente card that I have. Imagine that, a baseball card collector without a single Clemente. I'm glad that wrong is now righted.

The Ozzie Smith card is cool because he is in mid flip.

Green Linen:
Chase Utley
Albert Pujols
Babe Ruth
Cal Ripken Jr

I got 5 of these Green Linen cards and did really well. It's tough to argue with the 5 guys I pulled.

Akinori Iwamura - Black Linen 62/99

Nothing to say here.

Alex Rodriguez - Blue Steel 43/50

How funny is it that UD stole a parallel card name from Zoolander. I have mixed feelings about this card. On the one hand, it's A-Rod. On the other hand, there are probably a lot of people who would want it so maybe I could trade it for something cool.

At least they made him look a little douchey.

Fransisco Liriano - Captured On Canvas Game Used

These are really cool game used cards. This one even has a little line going down the patch, which is nice.

Bobby Crosby - Captured On Canvas Game Used

Nothing to say about Bobby

Bobby Abreau - Captured On Canvas Game Used

Or this Bobby

And now the moment you've all been waiting for. The awesome auto card. Who did I get? Pujols? Sizemore? Jeter?....

Sean Henn - Stroke of Genius Auto

I looked at the checklist and I couldn't find a worse pull than this. It isn't really even close. How the heck did this chump get a card? Not only is he a Yankee, but he's a Yankee that nobody's ever heard of. For crying out loud he was released last year from the Padres.

Look at him there smiling that "I can't believe they are giving me an auto in this set" smile. Bummer, man. This is a bummer.

Oh well, as Gallagher said: "Reggie Jackson don't hit a home run every time."

That's right, I just quoted Gallagher. I think he's funny.

Over all I still like these boxes. I'm glad I got it. At around $45 bucks a box you can't beat it for 3 GU and an auto and some cool parallels. I would not hesitate to get another box or 2. I figure I can't to any worse on the auto, right?